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Kids Extra Video Reviews

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(All reviews by Kenneth M. Chanko.)

AGES 2 to 5

STORYTIME (1994, Video Treasures/Strand, unrated) Picture a celebrity — John Goodman, Valerie Bertinelli, or Tom Selleck — sitting on the sofa reading a children’s book. That’s the soul of Storytime. Electronic-age absurdity? Well, yes, but the videos do expose kids to new books like Little Polar Bear and Ira Sleeps Over. B

AGES 5 to 9

MONKEY TROUBLE (1994, New Line, PG) In this charming comedy, a 9-year-old girl assumes the task of keeping a fidgety capuchin monkey out of mischief. It’s not easy: The simian has been trained to steal by his former owner, an organ grinder (Harvey Keitel). An engaging adventure and a subtle illustration of how taking on responsibilities can make a kid feel better about herself. B+

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993, Touchstone, PG) About 20 minutes into writer-producer Tim Burton’s stop-motion animation extravaganza, in which the king of Halloween Town tries his hand at creating Christmas cheer, the ”wow” factor disappears and the movie turns flat. Too scary for 5-year-olds; 9-year- olds looking for fun frights would be better off with Burton’s Frankenweenie. C+

AGES 9 and up

WHITE FANG 2 (1994, Disney, PG) In this anemic sequel, the title wolf hangs out with a boy named Henry, who hangs out with a threatened tribe of Native Americans. Even the premise is unbelievable: Why would the tribe just sit around waiting to be saved by a white teenager? C

JURASSIC PARK (1993, Universal, PG-13) When the biggest monster movie of all time comes to the small screen, the spectacular dinos appear much less menacing; the human characters, however, are as one-dimensional as ever. That said, Jurassic Park remains an unqualified special-effects marvel still capable of terrifying smaller children and rendering older kids wide-eyed. B-